G8 Foreign Ministers Tackle Key Global Peace and Security Challenges at Gatineau Meeting

(No. 123 - March 30, 2010 - 3:45 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, outlined the principal conclusions of G8 foreign ministers regarding important global peace and security challenges at a press conference following their meeting in Gatineau, Quebec, today. At the meeting, G8 foreign ministers discussed three broad themes: i) nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament; ii) terrorism; and iii) security vulnerabilities.

“We have just concluded a frank and productive discussion on key issues affecting global security today. Our dialogue has resulted in a strengthened G8 consensus and renewed impetus for addressing these critical challenges—together with the rest of the international community—in the months ahead,” said Minister Cannon.

The meeting achieved tangible results on the issue of non-proliferation. The G8 Statement on Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Disarmament and Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy will help create positive momentum for the upcoming Review Conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in May. The nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea were of particular concern to G8 ministers, as they both present serious challenges to global security.

“While G8 ministers agreed to remain open to dialogue with Iran, they also called on the international community to take appropriate steps to put pressure on Iran,” said Minister Cannon. “In addition, foreign ministers urged North Korea to come back to the table.”

G8 foreign ministers also agreed to undertake an Afghanistan Pakistan Border Region Prosperity Initiative aimed at building trade and border infrastructure to foster economic development and local employment. This initiative will be pursued in partnership with the Governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

Ministers recognized that many countries lack effective and accountable institutions to address their security vulnerabilities in times of conflict, disaster, or stemming from terrorism, proliferation and organized crime. To help these countries, Minister Cannon announced that Canada will host a conference of G8 senior officials to identify ways to increase the effectiveness and coherence of capacity-building efforts.

The Chair’s Statement issued by the Honourable Lawrence Cannon following the discussions, as well as a G8 Statement on Afghanistan and a G8 Statement on Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Disarmament and Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy and other background documents, are now available online at Muskoka 2010 G8.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Catherine Loubier
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Catherine Gagnaire
Summits Management Office
819-994-2186

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874